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Nepali poetry

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Nepali poetry

Nepali Literature (Nepali: नेपाली साहित्य) refers to the literature written in the Nepali language and should not be confused with Nepalese literature. A work that is classified as Nepali literature does not necessarily have to be written by a Nepali/written in Nepal. Much of today's Nepali literature is widely written outside of Nepal and many prominent writers were born in other countries e.g. Parijat and Indra Bahadur Rai, Lainsingh bangdel

The Nepali language evolved from Sanskrit and it is difficult to exactly date the history of Nepali literature since most early scholars wrote in Sanskrit. It is however possible to roughly divide Nepali literature into five periods.

Pre-Bhanubhakta Era

It is thought that Nepali literature has existed in verbal folklore for the past hundreds of years, however there exists no evidence of a written literary work before the Bhanubhakta.

Few scholars has argued that Poet Suwananda daas was the first literary figure in the history of Modern Nepal.

Bhanubhakta Era

Nepali speakers honor Bhanubhakta as the "Adikavi" (literally meaning 'first poet') of the Nepali language. Bhanubhakta's most important contribution to Nepali literature is probably his translation of the holy Ramayana into Nepali language, he wrote the Ramayana in metric form using the same form as Sanskrit scholars. Besides translating the Ramayana Bhanubhakta also wrote original poems on a diverse range of subjects: from family morals advocacy, satires of bureaucracy to poor conditions of prisoners.

Early 20th Century

Motiram Bhatta(1923–1953) is the person who revived the legacy of Bhanubhakta and publicized the contributions of the latter. Motiram played a fundamental role in the legacy of Bhanubhakta that some allege that Bhanubhakta was just a fabrication of Motiram's mind.


The Pre-Revolution Era was a very prolific time for creative writing despite the lack of freedom of expression, during the period the independent magazine "Sharada" was the only printed medium available for publication of Nepali literature. Short stories by Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Guru Prasad Mainali and Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala has become recognized as of tremendous importance. It is arguably the most significant period for the development of Nepali literature.

Short stories like the influential "Muna Madan" by Laxmi Prasad Devkota tells the tales of human lives: the story is about a man who in order to gain money leaves his wife and goes abroad and tragically dies when he returns. However the story also portrays the life of the wife who suffered greatly without her husband. Other stories by Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala introduced psychology into literature e.g. "Teen Ghumti", "Doshi Chasma", "Narendra Dai", etc.

Nepalese Civil War 1996-2006

Post-Revolution Era

There are many modern nepali authors who has written groundbreaking innovative new Nepali literature e.g. Indra Bahadur Rai,[1] Parijat, Bhupi Sherchan, Shailendra Sakar, Kavitaram Shrestha, Yuyutsu Sharma, Bimal Nibha, Narayan Wagle, Mahananda Poudyal etc.

As Nepalese diaspora is rapidly widening around the world after 1990, many books are published from different corners of the world. Diasporic literature has developed the new ways of thinking and 'mutual transformation'. Some writers and novels, e.g. Hom Nath Subedi's 'Yampuri Ko Yatra', Pancham Adhikari's 'Pathik Pravasan', offers illuminating vision of new models of identity.

In 2011 the Chancellor of the Nepal Academy presented Professor Michael Hutt with the Nai Derukha International Award ‘for his continuous dedication to promoting the study of Nepali literature in the international arena’.[2]

See also


Further reading

  • K. Pradhan: A History of Nepali Literature, New Delhi: Sahitya Akad., 1984
  • Gorkhas Imagined: Indra Bahadur Rai in Translation, edited by Prem Poddar and Anmole Prasad, Mukti Prakashan, Kalimpong, 2009.
  • Himalayan Voices: An Introduction to Modern Nepali Literature (Voices from Asia) [Anthology], edited and translated by Michael J. Hutt, Univ of California Press 1991
  • Stewart: Secret Places (Manoa 13:2): Featuring New Writing from Nepal, ed. by Frank Stewart, Samrat Upadhyay, Manjushree Thapa, University of Hawaii Press, illustrated edition 2001
  • Nepalese literature, ed. by Madhav Lal Karmacharya, Kathmandu : Royal Nepal Academy 2005
  • Roaring Recitals:Five Nepali Poets, Translated into Nepali by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, Published by Nirala Publications, New Delhi, 1999
  • Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing, Edited by Yuyutsu RD Sharma, Kathmandu

External links

  • The largest online magazine for Nepali Literature Online Sahitya
  • Nepali Poems In Nepali By Popular Poets @ Sanjaal
  • Nepali Stories In Nepali @ Sanjaal
  • A Bangla Article on Nepali Literature
  • Nepali Literature Website Collections of Nepali poems, articles, stories
  • नेपाली कबिता - नेपाली मुक्तक, Love poem at
  • The Applicant
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